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Social networks of veteran educators who remain in the education profession: A case study

Carpenter, Karie Zamarripa
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the social networks of select veteran teachers in three schools within one large, urban school district. Using Lin’s (1999) Network Theory of Social Capital as the theoretical framework, the case study described participant perspectives regarding how the social networks contribute to the teacher’s decision to remain in the profession. The participants in this study are 9 educators selected using purposeful sampling meeting the criteria-based attributes reflected in this study. The participants teach in a region of Oklahoma that have the lowest rates (31.7%) of educators with 15 years or more and high poverty rates of enrollment. All 9 educators have at least 15 years of teaching experience and remain despite teaching in this region. Data were collected through a Name Generator Survey, interviews, and observations. The data in this study indicated that the 9 participants use the social networks among their colleagues, administrators, and family to provide professional, emotional, and problem-solving support. The resources embedded in those social networks provided the participants with the desire to grow professionally, financially, mentally, and physically. Regardless of the need for a formal or informal meeting to determine how to preserve, the veteran educators in this case know they have networks of support and resources to continue in the education profession.